On November 2, 2023, the International University of Sarajevo (IUS) hosted the Second Workshop on Turkish Universities in the Balkans, with the Speaker of the Grand National Assembly of Türkiye, Prof. Dr. Numan Kurtulmuş, as the guest of honor. In addition to IUS, representatives of the International Balkan University and University of New York Tirana took part in the workshop meetings. The workshop aimed to address the challenges faced by Turkish universities in the Balkans and explore solutions for ensuring the recognition and value of Turkish degrees in the region.
During the event, Prof. Kurtulmuş emphasized the pivotal role of education in preventing conflicts and promoting unity among the peoples of the Balkans. The Turkish universities in the region play a crucial role in shaping the future of local youth and fostering collaboration among nations.
One of the primary issues discussed was the challenges related to diploma equivalence, where Turkish degrees sometimes encounter difficulties in gaining recognition in certain Balkan countries. This recognition issue affects students' opportunities for further education and employment. To address this concern, Turkish universities in the Balkans are engaging in dialogues with the Higher Education Council of Turkey (YÖK) to find solutions and ensure universal acceptance of Turkish degrees.
These universities are also forming partnerships that facilitate the sharing of educational resources, faculty expertise, and teaching methodologies, enhancing the quality of education and promoting the exchange of knowledge. Furthermore, they are actively pursuing national and international accreditations to gain global recognition, opening doors for students and researchers worldwide.
In conclusion, Turkish universities in the Balkans are working to overcome challenges and create valuable opportunities for academic growth, cultural exchange, and regional collaboration. With the support of institutions like YÖK and the Turkish Maarif Foundation, these universities are set to contribute significantly to the educational landscape in the Balkans and strengthen ties between nations.